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Calling all favorite fish dishes

I'm having to cook a lot of fish lately and I need to build up my repertoire... especially for dishes that can impress with minimal advance preparation.
So I'm curious what everyone's favorite is.

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  1. Marinade fillets in teriyaki (shoyu, sugar, white wine, grated ginger, grated garlic [optional] for a few hours to a day, simmer till done. Top with sliced green onions about a minute before turning off heat. I use this recipe for cachama (a large native of the Amazon) which needs moderate flavors to balance it out. Also make a variety of soups with the same fish--e.g., miso, chioppino (sp?), and Mexican styles.

    1. Here's one of my very favorite one-dish meals. It's a whole, baked sea bass recipe James Peterson's Fish & Shellfish. To paraphrase:

      1/2 cup evoo
      2 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
      2 garlic cloves finely chopped
      1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
      3 tomatoes, peeld, seed, and coarsely chopped
      15 brine-cured black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped

      Preheat oven to 450. Brush baking dish with oil. Overlap half the potatoes and sprinkle with half the garlic, thyme, s&p and evoo. Add remaining potatoes and sprinkle with the rest of the g, t, s&p, and evoo. Bake potatoes for 29 minutes. Season fish with evoo, s&p and place on potatoes. Add tomatoes & olives around the fish. I bake the whole fish about an additional 30 minutes.

      I nearly always do this with a whole fish, but the recipe can easily be adapted for fillets. This same recipe is good with a large variety of fish; I've used blackfish, snapper, and striped bass all with excellent results.

      1 Reply
      1. My favorites are tilapia with dijon mustard spread on it, topped with bread crumbs and pan fried in olive oil. I also love tilapia topped with sauteed spinach and tomatoes.

        And one of the best fish dishes I ever had came from a whole foods recipe-- salmon baked in couscous with pine nuts, raisins, olives, capers-- the recipe can be found here as well. http://wellfed.typepad.com/well_fed/2... There's some chopping involved, but it is mostly a throw in the pan and go meal.

        1 Reply
        1. re: fornaio

          Thanks for posting that Salmon recipe in Couscous - it looks delicious.

        2. Buy a whole sea bass (descaled) and cook it embedded in a couple pounds of kosher salt. Crack open the salt at the table and gently open up and dish out the super succulent fish inside. It's amazing.

          I also love taking a filet, adding some veggies and sauce and wrapping in parchment paper & baking. Everything comes out perfectly - try asian style with teryaki, green beans, bok choy, carrots, greek-style with eggplant, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon and oregano etc etc. Be creative!

          1 Reply
          1. re: jcanncuk

            I absolute love the Kosher salt mound method. I usually put sliced lemons & herbs in the cavity of the fish & when the salt shell is cracked....the aroma!

          2. TACOS!!!

            I like all kinds of fish in this; we have a good local fish market so I just get whatever is fresh and available.

            I usually grill it and baste on a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, kosher salt, and some pepper, a couple of minutes per side depending on how well done you like your fish.

            Top with cilantro, onions, cabbage...and whatever strikes your fancy. I usually top with those things and then drizzle some fresh squeezed lime juice over top. The crispness provided by cabbage is especially good, so be sure to try that.

            Corn tortillas are best (and more traditional) for this recipe...

            2 Replies
            1. re: inmybackpages

              A great addition is to add a little lime juice (fresh), sea salt and lime zest to sour cream as a garnish. Seriously. They'll be none left in the bowl no matter how much you make. If you do have left overs, pull out the corn chips & salsa the next day. Fish tacos do rock :-)

              1. re: inmybackpages

                We love making fish tacos too. This is our favorite recipe -
                Chili Crusted Tuna Tacos:

                I stir sour cream into the sauce mixture and it makes it just perfect - otherwise it is too hot.

              2. My favorite recipe:
                poached whole sea bass with soy, a ginger & scallion chiffonade.

                the ginger can be fried for a crispy contrast to the soft moist fish.

                the bone structure of bass makes it easy to filet at the table. grab 2 spoons and separate the top side, then lift the entire skeleton out and you've got the bottom side left on the plate.

                i find poaching to be a fairly fool-proof method when dealing with fish. my father adds chicken fat to the water. once the fish is plated in the pool of soy, spoon hot oil atop the fish. i've had this dish at least once a week since childhood. very simple flavors from this Cantonese recipe.

                1. This is an impressive and delicious dish for guests from Alfred Portale's 12 seasons cookbook. It's the kind of dish you'd get in a restaurant. All cooking is done a la minute, and there are just a few things to prep.



                  1. Oven roasted salmon atop oyster mushrooms. Serve w/ compound butter on top of hot fish.

                    To make: Oil baking pan. S&P on fish filets. Lay out mushrooms on pan so they're touching. Place fish non-skin side on mushrooms. Roast.
                    Compound butter: Cook chopped shallots in wine until wine almost is gone, mix into room temp butter, chopped fresh herbs, S&P. Roll into log and refrigerate or freeze.
                    Variations: red wine w/ rosemary & allspice. White wine w/ tarragon & a touch of allspice.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: NYchowcook

                      Oh, thank you! We're rolling in oyster mushrooms at the moment (don't ask...) and this sounds marvelous!

                      1. re: cayjohan

                        P.S. For plating, flip fish over so that mushroom layer (rather than skin side!) is on top.
                        I like to serve this atop stewed lentils, and sauteed cabbage w/ pancetta on the side. Enjoy!

                    2. There's this insanely easy and delicious method - I make it a lot 'cause we're in Puget Sound in the Pacific NW and have access to lots of delicious salmon and steelhead - wash and dry serving slices of said red or pink fish and place skin side down on a baking sheet. Slather the top with mayonnaise, about 2 mm thick. Lightly and evenly sprinkle with lemon pepper. Bake at a high heat (475 - 500F) for 10 mins per inch of fish. Tastes gorgeously lush, looks pretty, and you get all the flavor of the fish.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: rcallner

                        rcallner--Thanks! I had some salmon fillets in the fridge for dinner when I saw your post and did a little variation on it that turned out great. I mixed a little red wine vinegar, smoked paprika and pepper in with some mayonnaise, slathered it on and baked at 500. Awesome!

                        1. re: scoobyhed

                          Just came back to this - glad that worked for you, and I'm going to try your variation. That vinegar - not a basalmic?

                      2. To all in fish taco heaven, had em last night-just the perfect light dinner!

                        How about adding a poached salamon to your rep
                        poached in white wine and ginger
                        finished with a soy and ginger demi g

                        served with wild rice

                        wild rice takes a bit more time so adjust your poaching

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: HillJ

                          Sherry, soy sauce, sesame oil.
                          Brush salmon filets (1/2 lb each) with mixture. Rub finely minced ginger & chopped fresh parsley across the top of filets. Dot a small amount of butter, smidgeon of salt maybe some freshly ground black pepper evenly across surface. Can be prepared a few hours in advance.
                          Broil 4" from heat without turning until fish turns a light pink and is firm to the touch, begins to flake (about 5 minutes).
                          OR you can steam in a Chinese steamer tray until salmon is a light pink (about 10 minutes).
                          Serve with lemon wedges.

                          1. re: dragonfly

                            oh dragon...you're speaking my language! thanks!

                            1. re: HillJ

                              if you need more specifics, just ask.

                              1. re: dragonfly

                                Dragonfly, fire away..pen/paper always at the ready :)

                                1. re: HillJ

                                  I have successfully increased the amounts for a whole fish. Excellent & EZ.

                            2. re: dragonfly

                              I've made this many times and it is excellent. From Pacific Flavors by Hugh Carpenter. Fine without the butter and parsley too. Cilantro instead of parsley fine too.

                          2. simplicity at its best:

                            I take a whole atlantic mackerel (which is incredibly cheap) and rub the inside cavities with salt and either fry it in some vegetable oil or grill it. Salt grilled fish is the most delicious and easiest thing ever. You must serve this with a hot cup of either roasted barley tea or green tea and some fresh white rice.

                            ps: I like really oily fish

                            1. Broiled haddock/cod/schrod or other
                              Broil with a little butter for a few minutes without bread crumbs- just before it is done- top with your favorite really great cheese - and a few bread crumbs. A milder cheese is great- gruyere, edam or fontina work great. It's so easy and you can prepare multiple filets for a crowd in a large baking dish. My guests always love this.
                              Serve with great salad and some steamed veggies!

                              1. I came up with this after fooling around with deep-frying whole fish in my wok. This is just intensely delicious and spicy:

                                Crispy Whole Fish with Chile Garlic Sauce for 2

                                Since you’ll both be pulling the delicious flesh from the same fish, this is best shared with an intimate. This recipe is very spicy. If you and/or your loved one are timid, hold back on the chiles, or leave them out altogether.

                                1 whole red snapper, black bass, or sea bass, about 2 pounds,
                                gutted, fins and gills removed, and scaled
                                2 tablespoons light soy sauce
                                2 tablespoons rice wine
                                1 quart canola or peanut oil, for deep frying, plus 1 tablespoon for the sauce
                                2 garlic cloves
                                1 teaspoon-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
                                2 habanero chiles, stemmed and roughly chopped
                                3 serrano chiles, stemmed and roughly chopped
                                4 scallions
                                2 tablespoons chile bean paste
                                (Lan Chi blue label preferred, available at Whole Foods and elsewhere)
                                1 tablespoon tomato paste
                                2 teaspoons brown sugar
                                1 tablespoon rice vinegar
                                1 tablespoon dry sherry
                                3/4 cup chicken stock
                                1 teaspoon cornstarch,
                                blended with 1 tablespoon water
                                Drops of toasted sesame oil
                                Flour and corn starch (half-and-half) for dredging the fish

                                Rinse and dry the fish well. Score both sides of the fish with a sharp knife, making diagonal cuts about 1 inch apart, cutting in about 1/2 inch. Splash the whole fish with the soy sauce and wine on both sides, using more than 2 tablespoons, if necessary. Let the fish marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature.

                                Chop the garlic, then the ginger, then the habanero and serrano chiles in a mini-processor. Chop the scallions, keeping the white and green parts separate. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the tablespoon of canola oil, then the garlic, ginger, chiles, and the white scallions. Stir for a few moments, then add the bean paste, tomato paste, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and sherry. Deglaze with the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes. (Sauce may be made ahead to this point and kept warm, covered, for an hour or two.) Thicken the sauce with the cornstarch slurry. Taste, season with soy sauce if needed, or more vinegar or sugar as needed to balance the flavors. Finish with droplets of sesame oil. Keep the sauce warm.

                                Heat a good 2 inches of oil in a wok or oval skillet large enough to hold the whole fish. The oil should reach 380 degrees. Dredge the fish in the flour/corn starch mixture, patting off any excess. Hold the fish by the tail directly over the oil and submerge just the head for about 10 seconds. Slowly lower the fish into the oil, taking about a minute. This will prevent the oil from bubbling up and will also crisp up the skin before it touches the bottom of the wok. Fry the fish for about 7 minutes per inch of thickness at the thickest part of the fish. (A 1 1/2-inch-thick fish will take about 10 minutes.)

                                Carefully take the fish out of the oil—don’t lift it out by the tail, which will come off: use 2 skimmers and transfer it to 3 layers of paper towels. Pat the fish gently to eliminate excess oil. Serve dappled with the warm sauce, scattered with the chopped green part of the scallions, with extra sauce on the side or under the fish.

                                Yield: 2 servings

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Tom Steele

                                  I'm glad you are one of those people who "pick" at fish rather then eat it with a knife and fork. Maybe I'm crazy, but fish with head and bones intact just tastes better to me.

                                  oh and by the way, that recipe sounds really really good.

                                2. Any white fish works well with this; broiled, sauteed or baked

                                  4 chopped roma tomatoes
                                  1/2 c. chopped kalamata olives
                                  1 T. minced capers
                                  2 small shallots finely minced
                                  chopped parsley

                                  saute all ingredients but parsley in good olive oil until tomatoes break down, garnish with parsley

                                  I like to dredge one side of the fish with a cornmeal/flour mix seasoned with some dill, dry mustard, garlic and onion powder and maybe some oregano. Dredge well and place in hot pan sprayed with cooking spray. Don't move the fish until it's almost done through. Creates a delicious crust and is better than frying

                                  1. What about curing some salmon for a gravlax? That's always great. Or making ceviche, it really doesn't take much prep and you can experiment with it a lot.

                                    For recipes with cooking involved, I love this one from one of Rick Bayless's cookbooks, it's cornflake crusted fish with a tomatillo sauce and roasted corn. it's killer.

                                    1. This is a recipe for halibut and apples baked in parchment paper- I used tilapia and it was excellent! It is an extremely easy recipe too! http://www.cooksrecipes.com/seafood/p...

                                      Also, I took a cooking class a while back for easy weeknight dinners and we took about 2" x 3" hunks of salmon fillets and wrapped them in grape leaves, then put them in an oven for a bit and about halfway through cooking time, pour in some dry white wine, so the salmon bakes but then poaches in the wine a little bit. I was amazed at how good this was and have made it at home quite a bit. The class also provided lots of ideas to make the same dish over, i.e. adding caramelized onions to the top of the salmon and then wrapping it up, or sun-dried tomatoes, etc., etc.

                                      1. Fish braised in a variant of puttanesca sauce.

                                        Sweat generous amount of onions and garlic in olive oil with dried chili flakes, add roughly pureed canned tomatoes, chopped capers and olives, generous amount of anchovies, splash of white wine, high quality dried oregano. Reduce somewhat depending upon thickness of filet. Lay fish filet (anything that is not oily is OK - striped bass is wonderful, as is tilefish) on top of sauce and cook at a low bubble until fish is cooked through and sauce is thick. Top with chopped fresh parsley. Serve with a small pasta, such as orzo or riso.

                                        30-45 minutes total.

                                        1. Embarrassingly simple, but my family loves it...
                                          Flounder or sole filets, dipped in egg white, then in seasoned Italian bread crumbs. Fry in a bit of oil or butter in a non-stick pan. They just need a couple of minutes on each side - you want them to brown a bit. I make tartar sauce with mayo, a little sour cream, chopped onions, chopped sour pickles, lemon juice, a bit of dry mustard and chopped tarragon or parsley.

                                          Also, FRESH bluefish, slathered in an equal mixture of mayo and dijon mustard, and baked in hot oven - 10 min. or so, until done. Timing depends on thickness of filet.


                                          1. Almond crusted fish is super delicious, and super easy to make! I just pulse whole raw almonds in the food processor until crumbly. (Don't overdo it or you'll end up with almond butter!) Add salt, pepper, and herbs of choice (I usually just toss in some dried parsley.) When I want a crunchier topping, I use a combo of almonds and total (or other such whole-grain unsweetened flake). Regular cornflakes are great too, but we try to keep it healthy...

                                            Dip fish in beaten egg*. Coat with crumb mixture. Bake or pan-fry until fish flakes easily. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over it right before devouring.

                                            I love this with white fish such as cod or halibut, but it works well on salmon too.

                                            *For a little extra zing, I dip the fish in a mixture of honey, dijon mustard, and a beaten egg instead of just an egg. You could also try ranch dressing or mayo if you're feeling indulgent.

                                            1. My dad acutally loves this Honey Dijon Crusted Salmon I do... I can look up the exact amounts later if you're interested.

                                              Basically it's dijon, honey, butter mixed together, then slathered on salmon. Mix bread crumbs, crushed walnuts, and parsley, then coat salmon. Season with S & P. Bake and serve with lemon wedge if desired.

                                              1. another great way for a whole fish is cut three diagonal slits in the descaled skin both sides and stuff them with fennel and lemon butter (just chop fennel finely, and mash it into the butter with some lemon juice) and put a knob of the butter inside, then grill over coals - when the slits turn opaque the fish is done

                                                1. If you have access to smelt, fry them.

                                                  Just dredge in flour, then use an egg wash, then roll in instant potato flakes (I know, I know...). Fry them off in deep fat, and serve with lemon wedges and whatever tartar sauce floats your boat.

                                                  Great with a Greek or Turkish menu,too.

                                                  1. My favorite fastest seafood is Two Minute Calamari, Sicilian Lifeguard Style
                                                    out of one of the Batali books (It's googleable, on his website)
                                                    Spicy red sauce, Israeli couscous, pignoli and raisins, and calamari rings (I use TJ frozen)

                                                    Roasting cod or other firm fish in the oven over a bed of thin sliced onion and fennel is great, especially if you have time to infuse olive oil with garlic lemon and fennel, and drizzle that on the veg bed